Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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Time, and time again

Image: Judy Wright

It’s my pleasure to share this Guest Post — a zinging slice of flash fiction that takes an interesting temperature of these wild times we find ourselves in.

My big thanks to the writer, who’s also a wonderful sister.

 

The Blue Cupboard

by Tracey Edgerly Meloni

On my 17th birthday, while I was reveling in my Mary Quandt orange mini dress with a fifty-pound note in the pocket, Dudley disappeared into The Blue Cupboard.

Da swore years before my watch that The Blue Cupboard had transported him forward to 1967. The family in Penrith thought he was barking mad; as Uncle Willie said, “We keep mops in The Blue Cupboard, not H.G.-bloody-Wells.”

Da’s ravings about enormous protest marches, masses of hair and women burning their undergarments became ominously real in the news. I believed in him – he was all I had. Mum died having me, although I once overheard Uncle Willie stage-whisper that Da’s time-traveling lunacy was what really killed her.

Anyway, here on my 17th birthday in the real 1967, I follow Scottie Dudley into The Blue Cupboard. The door slams. All fades to black until the door opens again.

The view tells me that Da was right: just like him, I am in Washington, DC and the protest march is still going on. My outfit should fit right in.

“Dunna be so sure, Lassie.” A cartoonish, hairy Scotsman with a ridiculous brogue and awning-like eyebrows takes my arm with gloved hands, his tartan bell-bottoms and purple Edwardian coat making even me stare. Dudley?? He shrugs. “Is me tail covered?”

The Blue Cupboard took us far afield from 1967. These people must be concentration camp survivors: slashed, torn pants, ripped jackets, bald heads. Tattoos. Several have signs protesting the number of children killed in – 2018?? What the hell war is this?

Image: Judy Wright

“Groovy retro! Selfie?” says some ratty woman, throwing her arms around me and shoving a flat thing in my face. She points to a restaurant while dancing away. “Fusion – great falafel and sushi.”

Dudley and I look at each other. “Put your tongue back in your mouth,” I say. We go in. There’s a telly, telling me how spectacular sex would be if only I used the pink-and-blue gel. Then more adverts show a young woman shaving her face, an old woman flaunting her pee-pads (“Speaking of which,” says Dudley, excusing himself. . .)

Thanks to The Blue Cupboard, I’m celebrating being both 17 and 68 among strangers who’ve evidently been killing their children for half a century, while celebrating sex. I’m eating two things I hate with a Scottie dressed up like a psychedelic Dr. Who.

Da?

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On the trail of The Munich Girl

IMG_3242Delightful contributions and correspondence from readers have, once again, helped me make new discoveries about The Munich Girl. Reader response remains one of the biggest gifts of all in sharing a book’s story with the world.

Big thanks to Heather Heather Krishnaswamy for: reading the book, writing with kind words to let me know — then taking it with her to Europe, and ALL the way to the top of a mountain and the Kehlstein Haus, high above Berchtesgaden, Germany, so that she could send this photo.

I’m personally rather fascinated with then-and-now photos — the historic ones I pored over during my research, and the ones that readers send me as their own travels follow parts of the book’s trail.

Egaes Nest Hitler House - 020In her photo, Heather is standing quite close to where these two photos of Eva Braun and her dog were taken around 1939 or 1940. The scene is one that’s included in the book’s story.

Reader Kathy Bailey left a comment recently that feels too thoughtful to let become buried in the obscurity of internet archives.

It’s a response  to the question that never stops coming: “Why Eva Braun?” (Or, in the instance of one recent reviewer, “Why this woman?”)

EB pix Germany and more 498“Why Eva?” Kathy begins. “Because she is also a representation of Germany, a beautiful country of many good people who were swept along by something they didn’t understand and later regretted.

[Observation entirely my own own: Are we willing to — will we — learn from history ourselves, when and as we find ourselves in similar circumstance?]

“Why Eva?” Kathy continues.

“Because through her, Phyllis explored the many complexities of love. Which is not one-size-fits-all.

12939510_10209722543888161_1278498025_n“Why Eva? Because through her we come to understand Anna, who finds the courage to break from an oppressive relationship.”

Like her country, Eva Braun may not have recognized that the relationship was oppressive.

Or not until it was much too late.

Find more about The Munich Girl, (Kindle version remains discounted this month) here:

https://www.amazon.com/Munich-Girl-Novel-Legacies-Outlast-ebook/dp/B01AC4FHI8/

 — And please, keep sending your photos and thoughts.